Saturday, October 11, 2008
I was very excited to go vote in the US Embassy! On Monday, Katie and I made our way from the language school to the Embassy. I thought it would be like being welcomed into my home country: "Welcome, Erin! We're so happy you could come visit the United States for the day! Feel free to look around and enjoy your time here. Oh and thank you for being such a great citizen and voting in Paraguay." NOOOOOOOOOOOOPE! It actually felt more like trying to get into Rikers Island. We waited in the entry way. Then a guard accompanied us to security where we were metal-detected. Then we handed over all our belongings. Then we were turned over to another guard who brought us to the building where we would vote.
Voting! Why was it so complicated? Katie and I consider ourselves to be relatively intelligent people, and we spent our time in a state of utter confusion. We walked up to the window and said,
"Gustariamos votar (yeah, we're in the US.. but we're still speaking Spanish)". We would like to vote.
"mm no puedes votar aca" mm no you can't vote here. "Quieres una aplicacion a estar enviado a tu casa?" Do you want an application to be mailed to your house?
"No. Yo llame y alguien me dijo que puedo votar aca". No. I called and someone told me that I can vote here.
"oh, dejeme ver si hay alguien aqui quien sabe" Oh, let me see if there's someone here who knows..
She left, another man entered (the man I talked to on the phone) and said that we could vote here (thank you!!). First, he handed us a telophone sized book. "Look up the absentee voting rules for your state and fill out this form." AHH. I think we would have understood the book better in Spanish!
Anyway, we did the best we could. We wrote our votes on the absentee form and sealed it up tight. They're probably flying over Mexico right now. Mine's headed to the Passaic County office in Paterson ::nostalgic sigh:: and Katie's is going out to Missouri. We both voted for the same people.. now we'll wait and see if our Paraguayan votes make a difference in Novemeber!